Our society comprises six living generations, each having its own identity and each determined by a specified date range. Being born in the mid-1960s, I am considered a part of Generation X, or Gen-X.
I see the letter “X” as two opposing diagonal lines intersecting in the middle. This brief intersection represents the transition between an antiquated existence and the dawn of the digital age. The world has changed dramatically from when I was a kid.
Back in the day, my tablet was courtesy of Big Chief — you know, a tablet with lined paper for school work. Today, PowerPoint seems to have reduced the need for pencils and crayons. The thick cardboard school box has been replaced by laptops and flash drives.
Art projects used to require cutting and pasting using scissors and glue. Today’s computer screens allow kids to “paint by numbers” using a mouse and computer-generated colors.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Spell-check has replaced the need for a Webster’s dictionary. The Internet has made a set of encyclopedias extinct.
I spent summers playing kickball and baseball and riding bikes with the neighbor kids. As the sun went down, it was just a matter of time before a familiar voice called out, announcing to the whole world that I had to come in and take a bath. How embarrassing.
As I drive through my neighborhood, I rarely see kids playing outside or riding bicycles. I’m sure most are inside playing with the latest game system or surfing the Web.
One common memory seemingly shared by previous generations required having to walk to school, in 10 inches of snow, oddly up a hill both ways. I remember thinking, “How is that is even possible?” but I played along. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized the memory wasn’t about the snow or having to walk up the hill. It was a way to paint a picture emphasizing the importance of appreciation.
Children today are extremely smart, so the absurdity of the snow story forced it into retirement. My generation needed to come up with something a little more believable.
The day my son was born is far and away my happiest memory. The very moment he was placed in my arms, everything changed. I couldn’t take my eyes off one of God’s greatest gifts.
Of this tiny person who represents everything so innocent and pure, my only thought was: “I am responsible for making his memories.”
I created my own picture using the colors of living by example. My words and actions of today become tomorrow’s remember when.
Linda Bryan in one of The Star’s Faith Walk writers. To reply, send email to email@example.com.